New York Young Leaders to honor actor Chris O'Dowd and Peter Ryan in St. Patrick’s Day Celebration


New York Young Leaders, part of the America Ireland Fund, are set to honor Irish actor Chris O’Dowd and Deputy Consul General to New York Peter Ryan with the Irish Spirit Award and the Dylan Smith Community Service Award as part of their St. Patrick’s Day Celebration 2013.

Irish funnyman Chris O’Dowd will join Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Fallon, super bowl champion Shaun O’Hara, among others as a recipient of the Irish Spirit Award.  Each year the American Ireland Fund’s gives the award to someone they feel embodies the “Irish Spirit”.

“We definitely feel that way about Chris O’Dowd and the work that he has done in the arts to be a great ambassador for Ireland as well as the charitable endeavors he has been involved in for Breast Cancer research and others,”Pat Tully, NY Regional Director and National Director of the Young Leaders, told IrishCentral.

He continued “For starters, Chris’ unique sense of humor, his outspoken nature, his philanthropic values and his tremendous Irish pride. I am personally a big fan, but I know that I am not alone in seeing his star on the rise. He has so many film/TV projects on his plate right now and he is making his time for us in support of our work in Ireland. I think that says alot about him and his priorities.”

The American Ireland Funds will also be presenting the Dylan Smith Community Service Award to Peter Ryan, the Deputy Consul General in New York,  for his exceptional effort in helping Irish-American families affected by Superstorm Sandy. 

Tully explained “The American Ireland Fund immediately provided support for the Irish-American communities affected by Superstorm Sandy and Peter immediately responded as well, going above and beyond the call of duty. We know what his job entails, but Peter gave up his nights, weekends, precious time with his family to take care of total strangers.

“His strategy brought together every Irish group in New York City. His easy going nature made it fun for all and created new bonds between all of us, but it was his single-minded purpose to assist those in the predominantly Irish-American communities affected by the disaster that made this work. Everyone said “I want to help”, Peter created a plan and saw it to fruition.”

He will be accepting the award on behalf of all the Irish groups that came together to help those in need. 

This award is named in honor of Dylan Smith who saved six people from drowning during Superstorm Sandy. The 23-year-old Queen’s native along with Michael McDonnell (51) used a homemade rope bridge and his surfboard to transport the six people out of danger as fires from a gas-line explosion spread across the flooded Rockaway Peninsula. Smith drowned while on a surfing vacation to Puerto Rico in December 2012.

The event will kickoff at 7:00pm on Thursday and tickets are available online.